MURRAY, Ky. — Below is information regarding recent news, notes and accomplishments from Murray State University for the week of Oct. 29–Nov. 2.


Several chemistry faculty members and students from Murray State presented research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which took place Aug. 19–23 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Two women discuss and look at a poster.
Several chemistry faculty members and students from Murray State presented research at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which took place Aug. 19–23 in Boston, Massachusetts.

ACS is the world’s largest scientific society with members at institutions across the globe, including an active chapter at Murray State. During the conference, Murray State faculty members and students represented the University as presenters, judges, session organizers and volunteers.

“This venue allowed for our students to present their research to a larger global audience, to network with fellow students and to explore job/graduate program opportunities,” said Dr. Bommanna Loganathan, professor of chemistry at Murray State. “For faculty, this conference provided opportunities to be up to date in their area of research, to network with peers for possible research collaborations and to bring their experience back to their classrooms.”

Professors of chemistry Dr. Daniel Johnson and Dr. Kevin Miller served as organizers and presiders for a symposium titled “Ionic Liquids in Polymer Science and Engineering: From Molecular Design to Energy and Beyond.” In addition to serving as its organizers, both Johnson and Miller led individual sessions during the symposium about their respective fields of study. Johnson was joined in his presentation by Murray State chemistry students Landon Fike of Kirksey, Kentucky, and Mustafa Alhussain of Qatif, Saudi Arabia, who served as co-authors on the project.

Meanwhile, professors Dr. Bikram Subedi and Loganathan joined Dr. Daniel Burgard of University of Puget Sound–Washington in organizing a joint one-day special session on “Wastewater Based Epidemiology – Challenges and Opportunities.” Subedi chaired the session and gave two oral presentations, while Murray State student Tara Croft of Benton, Kentucky, presented a poster of her collaborative research with Subedi titled “Estimation of the Consumption of Illicit Drugs During Special Events in Two Communities in Western Kentucky, USA, Using Sewage Epidemiology.”

Subedi also served as a chair for the Publication and Publicity Committee of ACS’s environmental chemistry division, coordinating more than 20 scientists and judges from academia, government and various industries from around the world to evaluate student presentations.

Additionally, Loganathan and his international counterparts — including Dr. Juliette Legler of the Netherlands, Dr. G. Malarvannan of Belgium and Dr. Kenneth Sajwan of the U.S. — organized and presided over the ACS’s environmental chemistry division’s special symposium titled “Environmental Obesogens: Exposure Pathways, Mechanism of Action and Trends.” Loganathan presented a talk on “Global Trends of Persistent Organic Pollutants and Obesity” during the same symposium along with a corresponding poster that specifically evaluated Kentucky’s trends.

Faculty and students are appreciative of the support provided by Dr. Kevin Revell, chair for the Department of Chemistry, and Dr. Claire Fuller, interim dean for the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.


Dr. Daniel Wann, psychology professor at Murray State, served as the keynote speaker for the 2018 Mawson Scholar Series Presentation at the University of Kansas in October.

In his presentation, titled “The ABCs of Sport Fandom: What We Know and Where We Should Go,” Wann discussed the affective, behavioral and cognitive reactions of sports fans, highlighting the importance of understanding sport fandom and examining its future.

Wann has been a faculty member at Murray State since 1991. He teaches courses on social psychology, including a course on sport psychology and a course on the psychology of sport fandom. He has written two books — including “Sport Psychology” and “Sport Fans: The Psychology and Social Impact of Fandom,” with an update to the latter now available — and has published numerous articles in academic journals, given several conference presentations and served as a specialist for the media. He was a founding member and director of the Sport Fandom Special Interest Group within the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

Wann is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he earned his PhD in social psychology.


The Speech and Debate Union Travel Team at Murray State competed in a three-day national qualifying regional tournament in October with more than 15 colleges and universities in attendance, including University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Tennessee Tech University, Morehouse College, University of Southern Mississippi and more.

Members of the Speech and Debate Union stand behind a table filled with trophies.
Pictured: The Speech and Debate Union Travel Team

Participating Murray State students brought home several individual awards in addition to the group overall receiving the top prize: the Grand Championship Award.

“The Grand Championship win is significant because usually programs with 20+ students win the overall award and because we beat the first place U.S. champion Morehouse College program,” said Dr. Crystal Coel, director of the Speech and Debate Union, head of Elizabeth College and faculty member in the Department of Organizational Communication. “We won with just 13 students competing.”

Individual awards from the competition include the following:

— Rachel Fischer (Regents College) of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Josh Sanders (Springer-Franklin College) of San Antonio, Texas, placed first as National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) team champions and were a semi-finalist team in TIPDA debate

— Christopher Stewart II (Regents College) of Eddyville, Kentucky, and Brennan Hughes (Springer-Franklin College) of Russellville, Kentucky, placed sixth as an NPDA quarter-finalist team

— Yoshi Lindsey (Regents College) of Hardinsburg, Kentucky, placed sixth in Poetry – Day One and in Poetry – Day Two

— Michaela Molnar (Springer-Franklin College) of Naperville, Illinois, placed fifth in Dramatic Interpretation – Day One and second in Dramatic Interpretation – Day Two

— Kyle Heideman (Clark College) of Louisville, Kentucky, placed fourth in Persuasion – Day One and second in Persuasion – Day Two in addition to being named the category’s top novice for both days

— Josh Sanders placed fourth in After Dinner Speaking – Days One and Two

— Kaylea Wilson (Regents College) of Memphis, Tennessee, placed third in Informative – Day One and second in Informative – Day Two in addition to being named the category’s top novice for both days

— Rachel Fischer placed fifth in Impromptu – Day Two

— Brennan Hughes and Michaela Molnar placed first in Duo – Days One and Two

— Callie Anderson (Springer-Franklin College) of Richmond, Kentucky, placed sixth in Program Oral Interpretation – Days One and Two in addition to placing fourth in Prose – Day One and first in Prose – Day Two, where she was also named top novice

— Shirley Ransdell (Regents College) of Paducah, Kentucky, placed fifth in Informative – Day Two

— Brennan Hughes placed fourth in Radio Broadcasting – Day One

The group overall won third place in Debate Sweepstakes, fourth place in day one of Individual Event Sweepstakes, second place in day two of Individual Event Sweepstakes and first place in Overall Combined Grand Sweepstakes, which was the result of combined scores from all three days.

Adding to the Grand Sweepstakes with second and third place rankings in speaking events from the preliminary rounds were Brayden Borrell and Eli Fenwick.

Ryan Goke, assistant director of the Speech and Debate Union, serves as the team’s head debate coach. Madison Hutto, president of the Speech and Debate Union, serves as head individual events coach with Zachary Harris and Elizabeth Moss serving as additional individual events coaches.


Students and faculty members in Murray State’s telecommunications systems management (TSM) program visited the Verizon Switch Center in Chandler, Indiana, in October to see the industry they are studying in the classroom in action.

A large groups of students stand outside the Verizon Switch Center.
Pictured: TSM students outside the Verizon Switch Center

The Verizon Switch Center processes and monitors approximately 1 million calls from Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Dr. Abdul Yarali, professor of TSM, and Carlos Lopez, lecturer of TSM, led the group of 20 students to the center on Oct. 23. While at the Verizon Switch Center, the group received a complete tour of the facility from Dennis Robertson, regional manager for Verizon, and Joe Ballard, senior radio-frequency (RF) engineer.

“This field trip is designed so that our students will experience a more holistic, integrated picture of the information that, in the classroom, may have only been presented in a textual and abstract way,” Yarali said. “This visit exposed our TSM students to new experiences.”


Dr. Abdul R. Yarali, professor of telecommunications systems management (TSM) at Murray State, will travel to London, England, in the summer of 2019 to share his research at the Computing Conference 2019.

Yarali will share a paper titled “Uncovering the True Potentials of the Internet of Things (IoT).” To research and write the paper, Yarali collaborated with Dr. Michael Ramage, director of the University’s Center for Telecommunications Systems Management, and two Murray State students: Manu Srinath, a graduate student from India, and Nicholas May, an undergraduate online student.

Their research explores the potentials of IoT — which examines artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and more — as the foundation for the fourth industrial revolution. The paper also discusses cybersecurity and privacy issues that are important considerations for users with connected devices.


While attending the Kentucky Art Education Association (KyAEA) Conference on Oct. 13 with Dr. Rebecca Williams, assistant professor of art education, three Murray State art and design students were awarded the Allan Perkins Art Education Scholarship in the amount of $500 each.

The scholarship recipients from Murray State include Emily Netherton of Louisville, Kentucky; Kimberly Kinsland of Paris, Tennessee; and Tiffany Day of Harrisburg, Illinois.

Three students and Dr. Rebecca Williams stand together and hold a supersize check.
Pictured (from left to right): Emily Netherton, Kimberly Kinsland, Tiffany Day and Dr. Rebecca Williams.

“I am thrilled for these teacher candidates to have received the Allan Perkins scholarships,” Williams said. “Not only are they exemplary students within my courses, but they also each serve as members of the executive board of Murray State’s National Art Education Association (NAEA) student chapter. With these scholarships, KyAEA is making a solid investment in the future of art education in our state.”

The Allan Perkins Art Education Scholarship is offered to three students each year by the Kentucky Art Education Association. Scholarships are awarded based on students’ goals as future art educators as well as their service to the field, grade point average and financial need. The scholarship applications are juried by a committee. This year, art education students from Murray State brought home all three of the scholarships.

In addition to receiving the scholarship awards at the conference, Netherton, Kinsland and Day each presented their personal research projects during the conference’s Student Chapter Roundtables session. Netherton discussed the role of art therapy in the classroom, Kinsland demonstrated how can be used as an innovative curricular tool and Day provided an overview of the various levels of student-choice that teachers can build into their art programs.


The Sigma Alpha organization at Murray State, a professional agriculture sorority, was recognized in August at the national organization’s conclave in Dallas, Texas.

During the national event, the chapter received first place in the region for three different categories, including Outstanding Service Program, Outstanding Leadership Program and Outstanding Scholarship Program. The group also received the National Outstanding Leadership Award.

“I am very proud of the Alpha Upsilon chapter — they are a pleasure to work with,” said Rhea Ann Wright Holland, academic services coordinator for the Hutson School of Agriculture. “These ladies are dedicated to seeing Sigma Alpha grow at Murray State, and it is great to see them recognized for their efforts at the national level.”

Murray State students in the fall 2018 class of the Sigma Alpha agriculture sorority include Madison Hutto (Henderson, Kentucky), Victoria Phillips (Centralia, Illinois), Danielle White (Lewisburg, Kentucky), Loni Saum (Versailles, Kentucky), Katlyn Marshall (Mount Vernon, Indiana), Lexie Mills (Greenville, Illinois), Sammie Arnold (Shelbyville, Kentucky), Mackenzie Hoffman (Altamont, Illinois), Mary Grace Jackson (Princeton, Kentucky), Brianna Barnes (Rineyville, Kentucky), Casey Bell (Trenton, Illinois), Summer Cunningham (Boaz, Alabama), Shelby Shank (Maineville, Ohio), Whitney Stanton (Elizabethtown, Kentucky), Caroline Terry (Lebanon, Tennessee), Kassie Maierhofer (Marseilles, Illinois), Sarah Frank (Highland, Illinois), Whitney Teeter (Clarksville, Tennessee), Callie Anderson (Richmond, Kentucky), Carrie Ann Followell (Gravel Switch, Kentucky), Lacie Folz (Evansville, Indiana), Madison Kelly (Hopkinsville, Kentucky), Haley Thompson (Louisville, Kentucky), Amanda Stricklin (Harrisburg, Illinois), Abby Lyell (Hickory, Kentucky), Alexis Burnett (Brookport, Illinois), Allison Burris (Columbia, Kentucky), Ally Grote (Bowling Green, Missouri), Ashley Robert (Dahlgren, Illinois), Bailey Webster (Fredonia, Kentucky), Bethany Pearson (Olmstead, Kentucky), Cali Franklin (Crestwood, Kentucky), Courtney Franklin (Paris, Kentucky), Emily Cole (Warrenton, Virginia), Gillian Gattenby (Crestwood, Kentucky), Grace Nally (Bowling Green, Kentucky), Jessie Collins (Morgantown, Kentucky), Leah Collins (Bowling Green, Kentucky), Margaret Bright (Westfield, Indiana), Morgan Grannas (Jarrettsville, Maryland), Paige Martin (Evansville, Indiana), Presley Adkins (Ashland, Kentucky), Rhiannon Branch (Iuka, Illinois), Samantha James (Bowling Green, Kentucky), Samantha Thomas (Fairdale, Kentucky), Shawndulynn James (Lexington, Kentucky), Shelby Abbott (Nortonville, Kentucky), Sophia Reese (McKenzie, Tennessee), Taylor Rogier (Highland, Illinois) and Tiffany Cobb (Smithland, Kentucky).


Murray State faculty Amanda Grossman, Wayne Tervo and the Epsilon Nu chapter were recognized as a superior chapter by the Beta Alpha Psi Board of Directors. Beta Alpha Psi is an international honors organization for accounting, finance and information systems professionals.

“We are very proud of our Epsilon Nu chapter, which continues its long-standing superior status for over 30 consecutive years,” said Amanda Grossman, professor in the accounting department of the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business. “The student members of our organization attend numerous professional meetings with potential employers, provide tutoring to underclassmen and assist community members with tax returns by participating in the accounting-run Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.”

“Recognition as a superior chapter is a significant accomplishment,” added Alexandra L. Miller, president of Beta Alpha Psi. “Under the leadership of both Grossman and Tervo, the Epsilon Nu chapter has far exceeded the baseline requirements of Beta Alpha Psi and has excelled in the areas of academics, professionalism and leadership.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email